“Brutality is not merely part of [Watchmen director Zack] Snyder‘s repertory of effects,” writes N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott . “It is more like a cause, a principle, an ideology. And his commitment to violence brings into relief the shallow nihilism that has always lurked beneath the intellectual pretensions of Watchmen.
“The only action that makes sense in this world — the only sure basis for ethics or politics, the only expression of love or loyalty or conviction — is killing. And the dramatic conflict revealed, at long last, in the film’s climactic arguments is between a wholesale, idealistic approach to mass death and one that is more cynical and individualistic.
“This idea is sickening but also, finally, unpersuasive, because it is rooted in a view of human behavior that is fundamentally immature, self-pitying and sentimental. Perhaps there is some pleasure to be found in regressing into this belligerent, adolescent state of mind. But maybe it’s better to grow up.”